What may have seemed like a passing fad could actually be making the leap to a full-fledged marketing tool. What witchcraft is this you may ask? I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but we’re talking about emojis, emoticons, and those ubiquitous smileys permeating just about every inch of social media and online content. And while the library of emojis continues to grow and reflect our desire to communicate abstract concepts using…eggplants and disembodied hand gestures? It can all be very ambiguous at times, although most people probably feel that way while looking at Egyptian Hieroglyphics — the ‘original emoji.’ Here we’ll explore just how emoji marketing can work and things to consider.
As it turns out, emojis are not only here to stay, but they may actually represent a new tool for marketers to start taking advantage of. Certain reports have shown that including emojis in tweets can increase engagement by 25.4 percent versus their emoji-less counterparts. Not only that, but adding emojis to your Facebook posts can encourage a higher volume of ‘likes’ — 57% more in some instances! So with numbers like that, it’s no surprise that these micro-cartoons are getting the attention of digital marketers and similarly minded entrepreneurs. But how can emojis be implemented in your marketing efforts to produce greater social media success? Get your alternative keyboards ready, folks.
First thing is first, what are these little pictures trying to communicate? I mean the emoticons (emojis depicting emotions) are relatively obvious, but then there are the more cryptic characters, things like spirals, raised hands, or goblins. But like any form of communication, the context that emojis are used in constitute most if not the entirety of their meaning. Knowing this becomes particularly important for companies using them in their branded tweets, posts, or any other place where emojis can be found.
Conceiving Your Emoji Marketing
Nothing says brand authority like using the wrong emoji at the wrong time — and believe me, it’s not THAT difficult to know when the situation warrants emojis or not. Still, what can start as a distasteful joke or a simple lack of attention to detail can blow up as a PR disaster for online presences. For all intents and purposes, I present to you the Emojipedia — your guide to avoiding unsavory tweets and posts featuring the common emoji.
Real-Time Engagement with Emojis
Even while a thoroughly planned emoji-laden post can sometimes come up short, finding the right timing to take a more colorful and visual route can be just the kickstart your brand needs for the day. Some might even go so far as to design an entire emoji based post, save for a contextual hashtag:
A mix of creativity and the proper messaging can make for a very effective post that will engage users here and now. Increasing your engagement with emojis means finding what people are responding to and coding fun messages without being too cryptic. Beyond tracking which posts contain emojis and which don’t throughout your marketing campaigns, you can see just how often people are using certain emojis via the Emoji Tracker.
That said, Twitter has been designing custom emojis that accompany specific hashtags as means of monetizing the platform. First to try such an emoji marketing feat was no other than Coca-cola — arguably more of a marketing company than a soft-drink company. Using #shareacoke will actually generate a pair of classic coke bottles to accompany your remaining characters in the tweet. Pretty nifty! Since then gigantic brands like Star Wars, Ikea, and others have taken advantage of the phenomenon.
So it’s clear that emojis are becoming more useful in marketing and while attempting to engage your audiences. Just make sure you’re fully aware of what all of these wacky little characters mean and don’t over do it — emojis do only go so far!